Selected research highlights from phase I (2014-2016)

The goals of the SCCER EIP are twofold:

  • New methods will be developed in order increase the implementation of energy efficiency measures and technologies in industry.
  • Novel technologies will be developed in order to increase energy and material efficiency of new processes.

Comprehensive techno-economic information of existing and new technologies, new integration methods and tools on company/site level and the inclusion of multiple benefits that facilitate most effectively the implementation energy efficiency measures and novel technologies will be researched.

Technologies which will be investigated include separation processes such as adsorption, condensation heat transfer, small and mid-power generation from steam engines, as well as process intensification by improving transport phenomena.

WP1: Monitoring and Implementation

Many companies are not aware of the potential for energy savings in their process, resulting in energy efficiency measures, which are in fact economically viable, not being implemented. Therefore, the innovation challenges with respect to this work package were to provide systematic data on energy utilization and management from ongoing and finalized projects and to develop targeted tools and databases to assess the technical, economic and market potential for energy conservation.

A further innovation challenge was to develop, evaluate and disseminate strategies aimed at an accelerated and broad diffusion of energy efficiency solutions in the industry. This included assessments and recommendations regarding business models and an analysis of changes in the boundary conditions needed for substantially improved industrial energy efficiency.

Analysis of energy efficiency improvement potential in the cement sector

E-Modules – The foundation for greater industrial energy efficiency

Observatory – Database of macro and micro energy data for the Swiss industrial sector

WP2: Energy Efficieny (direct)

The goal with respect to the Energy Strategy 2050 was to tackle processes used in many different industrial sectors that show a high energy consumption. The aim was to substitute current energy intensive systems with new plug and play solutions that reduce energy usage significantly. Topics covered in phase I of the SCCER EIP were heating and cooling applications, process heat and steam generation, heat recovery as well as cogeneration.

Besides feasibility in new plants, solutions for retrofitting and reuse of old equipment need to be considered in order to reduce payback time and investment cost, which are huge hurdles in the implementation of renewables and efficient technologies in industry. The reduction of energy consumption will be achieved by a widespread usage of new energy efficient and scalable technology applicable to many different industrial sectors.

Energy efficient greenhouses for Rutishauser AG

Waste heat recovery using water vapour recompression

WP3: Process Efficiency (indirect)

Beside the direct measures towards energy efficiency in industrial processes addressed in WP2, WP3 deals with indirect measures, which can inherently enhance the process efficiency and thus yield to a remarkable decrease of the overall energy consumption.

There are a number of possible measures that can be taken, which have the potential to enhance process efficiency and thus energy efficiency. All these diverse applications have common key elements that have to be reconsidered in order to improve energy efficiency.

Dropwise condensation for improved heat transfer in industrial applications

Optimizing the Chilled Ammonia Process for CO2 capture


WP4: Plant-wide Integration

In most of the cases the combined energy and resources efficiency approach shows benefits in terms of water consumption and waste streams productions, since these can be converted into additional energy resources. By rescheduling the operation and integrating thermal storage systems, the batch system integration will allow (i) to realize heat recovery options and (ii) the batch processes to become actors on the electrical grids.

By reusing waste heat for other processes in industrial clusters or sharing energy conversion or waste management facilities, the large-scale integration presents a huge energy saving potential. One could imagine considering cities as being the best way to evacuate waste heat from the industry. Extrapolating data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) to Switzerland shows a potential of energy savings of 5% of the heating demand in buildings and 25% of the energy usage in industry. This, however, needs a comprehensive approach to identify the real waste heat of industrial processes and to realize in a practical way the system wide integration using the appropriate district-heating network.

Novel methods for heat exchanger network design

Method development to integrate heat pumping and solar heating/PV in the industry

Methodology development in combined interplant heat and water integration for waste heat recovery

Methodology development for energy auditing